This year, many Overseas Filipino Workers went back to their families in the Philippines not because of their choice but because of financial issues in the Middle East. A lot of us know that OFWs from Saudi Arabia are facing financial restraints because of unpaid salaries.
There are several protests organized by these workers and there were also cases when final exit visas were issued massively by companies since they do not have the funds to pay the salary of their employees.
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor has been making all the efforts to counter the issues, but they cannot force the companies to pay off the salaries of their employees because they do not have the funds to run the operations.
Help From the King
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman had to intervene in the situation. According to Arab News, King Salman directed the Ministry of Labor to take serious measures and tackle the issues of unpaid salaries in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance.
The King has directed the government agencies not to pay any amount to the companies who are in violation of Wage Protection System. He had to take this extreme step because of the increasing amount of complaints filed by workers from the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh to the Labor office as a result of the delays in their salaries.
To Pay Off the Workers
To help pay the salaries of the employees, King Salman ordered to deposit SR 100 million into the Saudi Arabian Fund account to help tackle this issue. The Ministry of Labor was given full authority to use this fund for the welfare of the workers. It’s also expected that this amount will be used to pay off their salaries, including the OFWs in Saudi Arabia.
This amount will be deducted from the funds that the government has to release to these companies.
King Salman also ordered the Ministry of Labor to take all the measures to make sure that the distressed workers are given proper accommodation. The cost of this provision was also deducted from the payments that the government makes to these companies.
Lastly, King Salman also instructed the Ministry of Labor and the Saudi Airlines to transport the workers who want to go on final exit to their home countries. The issuing of final exit visas were expedited.